State lawmakers in the Assembly on Monday advanced a package of proposals meant to make it easier for New Yorkers with disabilities to access services.
The measures were approved in recognition of Legislative Disabilities Awreness Day, as lawmakers seek to address the roadblocks people face when receiving help.
“Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day is not just about bringing light to the barriers that New Yorkers living with disabilities face, it’s about passing meaningful legislation to address those barriers,” Speaker Carl Heastie said. “The legislation we pass today would make real changes in the lives of millions of New Yorkers – from making it easier to find employment to streamlining the process to get critical services.”
Lawmakers approved a bill that would create a commission to make recommendations for new laws that would streamline services for New Yorkers struggling to get access for services for people with disabiliites. Another bill would create a similar commission to help guide policy for people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing.
Lawmakers also backed legislation is meant to expand employment for people with disabilities, including veterans. And lawmakers backed waiving the state's sovereign immunity to claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act.
“As the chair of the committee of People with Disabilities, the package of bills that we passed for Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day is a step in the right direction for achieving full equality for millions of people living in New York with disabilities,” Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright said. “I commend Speaker Heastie and my colleagues for their support of this legislation passed today that will promote inclusion, dignity, and respect for people living with disabilities.”